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Tips and tricks for passing the CKA exam

Frédéric De Smet
November 8th, 2020 · 1 min read

On 6 November 2020, I successfully took the certified Kubernetes Administrator exam. In this article, I’ll share some tips and tricks which will improve the chances of success.

What does the exam look like

You’ll have to answer 17 questions in 2 hours’ time. This exam is 100% hands-on. You’ll get a lab environment where you’ll have to fulfill a series of tasks.

Useful commands

  • Use aliases as
1alias k=kubectl
2alias kgp=kubectl get pods
3alias kga=kubectl get all -A
  • One of the most useful commands while learning to work with manifests files is the explain command as “explained” in this blogpost (you see what I did there?)
1kubectl explain deployment
  • Don’t create YAML manifests from scratch but instead use imperative commands with the --dry-run=client and -o yaml flags. This will generate a basic YAML file for you. Examples:
1kubectl run demo-pod --image=nginx --dry-run=client -o yaml > temp.yaml
3kubectl create deployment demo-deployment --image=nginx --replicas --dry-run=client -o yaml

Practical tips

  • WHERE AM I RUNNING COMMAND X?: confirm you’re running your commands in the right cluster, node, namespace,… . This can be confusing sometimes since there are 6 clusters to work on. On top of each question, you’ll find a command to set your context to the correct context related to the question. Make sure to execute this!

  • TIME MANAGEMENT: it’s very important to monitor your time. Don’t be afraid to skip a question when you do not have an immediate answer for. If you have some time left, you can always get back to it later.

  • CREATE BOOKMARKS: you’re allowed to create bookmarks to quickly navigate to a certain page in the Kubernetes documentation. I saved a few YAML definitions which I knew would come in handy.

  • EXTERNAL MONITOR: you’re allowed to use an external monitor. This can increase your efficiency in my opion.

Study materials



If you exercise enough, you should be able to finish the exam successfully. Good luck everyone!

One last thing: after completing the exam it can take up to 36h before you get the result. So DO NOT freak out!

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